Following a national survey that found majority support for the regulation of facial recognition technology, the Ada Lovelace Institute established the Citizens' Biometrics Council to bring public voice and deliberation to the use of biometrics technology in the UK.
Problems and Purpose
Technologies which collect and process biometric data, like live facial recognition and voice recognition, are being developed and deployed in contexts from policing and education, to virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa. These technologies raise questions around surveillance, privacy, agency, data protection and more. The Ada Lovelace Institute convened the Citizens’ Biometrics Council to address these questions and bring public voice to the debate on biometric use in the UK.
Background History and Context
Advances in artificial intelligence like machine learning and image processing mean data-driven systems can now gather, analyse and process vast amounts of biometric data in real-time and on a population scale. Biometric data is information about people's unique physical and biological characteristics which can be used for identification: such as their face, voice, fingerprint, way they walk and more. 
These systems are being developed and deployed in a range of settings, but not without controversy. A legal case was raised against South Wales Police's use of facial recognition , many cities have banned facial recognition , and the England and Wales Biometrics Commissioner has argued current legislation has not kept pace with technological advances. 
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
The Citizens' Biometrics Council was organised by the Ada Lovelace Institute, an independent research institute with a mission to ensure data and AI work for people and society. The Ada Lovelace Institute is supported and funded by the Nuffield Foundation. 
The Ada Lovelace Institute worked with Hopkins Van Mil to deliver the Council.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
Participants were recruited to reflect a broad and diverse cross section of society. A diverse range of age, gender, socio-economic background, political leaning and attitudes to data were sought. Additional participants who identified as LGBTQ, from BAME communities and with disabilities were recruited to take part in parallel Community Voice workshops, to ensure these perspectives were meaningfully considered.
Methods and Tools Used
Deliberative workshops, expert witnesses, information packs, informal polls and surveys.
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
Analysis and Lessons Learned
This entry will be update after the Ada Lovelace Institute reports on the project in late 2020/early 2021.